Interim Texas Congressional Maps Likely to Remain in Place
The federal district court that drew the interim maps under which Texas congressional and state legislative candidates will seek office this November announced Thursday that those districts will likely remain unchanged for the 2012 elections, despite a federal court ruling earlier this week that the state legislature's maps -- on which those interim districts were based -- did not comply with federal law.
The U.S. District Court in San Antonio granted petitioners a status meeting for Friday on the case, according to a copy of the order posted on the website txredistricting.org. But U.S. District Court judge Orlando Garcia wrote that the 2012 election "is proceeding and will be conducted in accordance with this court's interim plans."
A separate district court in Washington, D.C. ruled Tuesday that the map drawn by the state legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry violated the Voting Rights Act because it was crafted with the purpose -- and had the effect -- of denying minorities proportional representation.
Texas gained four congressional seats during the reapportionment following the 2010 census.
Since then state Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, has said he would seek to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Garcia wrote in granting the motion for the status meeting that he was not inclined to remedy the interim maps until after those appeals are resolved. The Supreme Court earlier this year threw out the San Antonio court's first set of interim maps, ruling that they improperly ignored the state legislature's plans, despite the fact that those plans had not yet been cleared in accordance with the Voting Rights Act.